Longtime Mad River school board member Scott Huddle was elected Monday to help lead the Ohio School Boards Association for the next three years.
Huddle will serve in a learning role as president-elect in 2020, then will be president of the organization in 2021, and past-president in 2022, to help guide the next leader. OSBA, via its members and full-time staff, offers training and resources to local school boards and lobbies the state legislature for changes in education policy.
“Working for OSBA, you’re not just representing your district; you have to look out for the needs and concerns of an entire state, and to be available to speak to legislators,” Huddle said. “I have to get to know the legislators across the state — who are the decision makers, the movers and shakers? I have to make sure my voice represents what the legislative platform for OSBA has, not just my local board.”
Huddle is a retired Air Force Reserve major and current client executive with the medical firm Optum. He serves as an appointed member of Gov. Mike DeWine’s School Safety Task Force. His wife Karen is a Mad River kindergarten teacher and their three children graduated from Mad River schools.
Huddle has served on Mad River’s school board for 20 years, currently as president, and he was re-elected to another four-year term to that local position last week.
Among his president-elect duties for OSBA in 2020, Huddle will be chairman of the group’s Legislative Platform Committee, which sets state policy priorities for the organization.
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“There are multiple areas, but I would say the areas we’re really looking at are academic distress commissions (state takeovers) … and there’s a very strong interest in the adequacy and equity of school funding … and a state report card that is consistent and is understandable to the general public,” Huddle said.
Huddle was OSBA’s Southwest Region president in 2018, and he currently serves on several OSBA boards and committees. Next year, he will work with incoming OSBA President Lee Schreiner, from the South-Western school board in Franklin County.
Huddle was elected to the OSBA post by the group’s Delegate Assembly at OSBA’s annual Capital Conference. At that conference, OSBA supported legislation to sufficiently fund trauma-informed education training, to increase the amount school board members can be paid and to require colleges with teacher-training programs to offer courses on technology, classroom management and other topics.
Huddle said one challenge for school boards is adjusting to the repeated changes from the state legislature and Ohio Department of Education. He said OSBA leans on its strategic plan, which depends on input from every region of the state.
“We review that every fifth year to make sure what we’re focusing on — is it still relevant? Do we need to table certain things and add new things? Are the same areas consistent that we need to work with?” Huddle said.
During this fall’s Mad River local school board campaign, Huddle said some of his goals for his home district were helping students succeed better at the transition points between schools, and continuing to expand access to the College Credit Plus program that allows high school students to get a free jump on college classes.
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